These little balls make a delicious addition to cups of tea or coffee over Christmas (or any time of the year really!). They’re simple to make and tasty to eat, which I think is the perfect combination. They also contain all the different parts of chocolate…
Chocolate Figgy Pudding Balls
Makes 24 – vegan, gluten & nut free
250g dried figs, stems removed and rough chopped
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
25g cacao nibs
25g pumpkin seeds
20g cacao butter, buttons or chopped
Juice & zest of 1 small clementine (or 2 tsp water & 1 tspn freeze dried orange powder)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
Good grating of whole nutmeg (or ½ tsp ground nutmeg)
¼ tsp sea salt
75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (can also use milk or white chocolate)
Small pieces of cacao nibs or chopped cranberries
1. Put the chocolate & cocoa butter in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of gentle simmering water (the bowl should fit into the pan rim without touching the water). Let it melt, stirring occasionally until it has fully melted and combined. Put to the side to cool a little.
2. Put pumpkin seeds & nibs in processor and pulse to break them into smaller pieces. Add the figs, along with the clementine zest, then squeezing over the juice from the clementine pieces over the top. Blend well, pulsing a few times and scraping the bowl if you need to, so that the fig starts to clump together (it doesn’t need to be completely smooth).
3. Add the remaining dry ingredients and pulse again until everything is well combined. Drizzle in the melted chocolate mix and blend well in the processor.
4. Tip the mixture into a bowl and scoop out just bigger than teaspoon sized pieces, lightly rolling them into balls between your palms. Pop them on a tray or plate covered with a piece of baking parchment and leave for 10-15 minutes to set (if it’s warm put them in the fridge for this stage).
5. While the balls are cooling, temper or gently melt your chocolate. Do this in a small clean heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Melt until the outside rim of chocolate is just melted, then take off the heat, stirring the chocolate well. If there are still lumps of chocolate in your mix, place it back over the pan to heat, then remove and stir (repeat until your mix is melted and glossy).
6. With a teaspoon, drizzle a small amount of chocolate over the top of your fig balls so that it runs down the side a little to create a dripped look. Place a small piece of cacao nib or dried cranberry on top (I normally do this process 6 at a time). Leave the chocolate to set.
Serve the figgy pudding balls at room temperature for the most flavour. They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week – if they last that long that is!